Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Obliged to Arm

In the United States of America, the science of liberty is universally understood, felt and practised as much by the simple as the wise, the weak as the strong. Their deep-rooted and inveterate habit of thinking is that all men are equal in their rights, that it is impossible to make them otherwise; and this being their undisturbed belief, they have no conception how any man in his senses can entertain any other. This point once settled, everything is settled. Many operations, which in Europe have been considered as incredible tales or dangerous experiments, are but the infallible consequences of this great principle….

Another of these operations is making every citizen a soldier, and every soldier a citizen; not only permitting every man to arm but obliging him to arm. This fact, told in Europe previous to the French Revolution, would have gained little credit; or at least it would have been regarded as a mark of an uncivilized people, extremely dangerous to a well-ordered society. Men who build systems on an inversion of nature are obliged to invert everything that is to make part of that system. It is because the people are civilized that they are with safety armed. It is an effect of their conscious dignity, as citizens enjoying equal rights, that they wish not to invade the rights of others. The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the government, not to the society; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have when it is in their own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage.

Quoted from Equality in America, by Joel Barlow, 1792


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